internal affairs

March 31st, 2007

I was reading ESWN’s translation (should be the piece entitled “Internal Affairs” at the top of the page) of an article by Wang Ganrong in Southern Weekend and this bit struck me:

The heavens will not fall down on account of these actions.  Actually, when many things show up in the public media, the truth becomes clearer; when something is debated publicly, the rights and wrongs become clearer.  These are the benefits that the Internet bring to the citizens.

The truth becomes clearer? No, unfortunately. Just like the media or the “justice” system in any country, the player who is best at working the system wins. Truth doesn’t necessarily become any clearer, the one in the right may well lose. It sucks, but I don’t think there’s any way to change that.

2 Responses to “internal affairs”

  1. China Law Blog Says:

    You are equating the winner with the truth and by doing so ignoring what is actually a great statement touting the benefits of the marketplace of ideas. You are right that the truth does not always win, but doesn’t it have a better chance if it can get a full airing?

  2. wangbo Says:

    Maybe I over-stated my case. I certainly did not mean to equate the winner with anything other than the winner. I agree whole heartedly that in a free marketplace of ideas the truth has a better chance of a full airing and maybe even winning, but that doesn’t always happen. I guess I just found that statement too idealistic. We’ve all seen politicians abuse free speech to lead entire nations astray, I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of great lawyers get people proclaimed innocent even though they’re guilty as sin, and incompetent lawyers get people thrown in jail even though they’re innocent. The truth has a better chance in an open market, but, like you said, it doesn’t always win, and like I said, all too often it’s the better player who wins, regardless of whether that player is pushing the truth or not. So yes, a great statement from Wang Ganrong, but a little too idealistic, I think.